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Egypt

Moses:..... About this country of famed antiquity along the Valley of the River Nile in Northeast Africa, has clustered many suggestive allusions of interest to the Craft. The old Cooke's Manuscript tells us that from Egypt, Freemasonry "went from land to land and from kingdom to kingdom." In more modern days the claim has been made that a Lodge of the Order of Memphis, was founded by Freemasons of the prominence of Napoleon Bonaparte, General Kleber, and others of the French Army during the Egyptian Campaign of 1798.

The Grand Orient of France founded a Lodge in Egypt, La Bienfaisance, or Benevolence, of 1802, and another in 1806, Les Amis de Napoleon le Grand, Friends of Napoleon the Great, and other Lodges in 1847 and 1863, all at Alexandria; one at Cairo in 1868, and another at Alexandria in 1848, and one at Mansourah in 1882. Lodges at Alexandria were established by the Grand Lodge of France, one in 1871, the other in 1910, also three at Cairo, in 1889, 1910, and 1911, with one at Port Said in 1867.

A German Lodge was set at work in Cairo in 1866, and one at Alexandria in 1908. The first of two Lodges was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1867 and 1884. The Grand Orient of Italy has had six Lodges at Alexandria, three at Cairo, one at Port Said, and another at Suez. The Grand Lodge of England also chartered Lodges at Alexandria in 1862 and 1865; Zetland Lodge in 1867, Alexandria Lodge in 1920, have survived; nine Lodges were chartered at Cairo, Bulwer Lodge, the oldest, 1865; Grecia Lodge, 1866 Star of the East Lodge, 1871, and Lotus Lodge, 1908, continuing; three were erected at Khartoum: Khartoum Lodge, 1901; Saint Reginald Wingate Lodge, 1908; Mahfel-el-Ittihad Lodge, 1908, and one each at Le Caire, Port Said, Suez, and Tantah.

The Order of Memphis is said to have been revived or repeated in Egypt by J. E. Marconis, who constituted a Lodge at Cairo and founded a Supreme Council at Alexandria before 1862. After Marconis resigned his powers to the Grand Orient of France, the Body in Egypt was independent and the son of Mehemet Ali, Prince Halim Pasha, became Grand Master, the Order prospering until his exile in 1868.

The Sanctuary, Patriarchs of Memphis, worked for a time in secrecy but eventually ceased operations. On December 21, 1872, the Rite of Memphis was again set at work and with the approval of the Khedive, a Grand Master, S. A.Zola, was elected over the Sanctuary of Memphis and the Grand Orient of EzvDt: two years later he became Grand Hierophant, ninety-seven Degrees, the Supreme Officer. This position Zolare signed in 1883 to Professor Oddi. An Ancient and Accepted Rite of the Thirty-third Degree instituted by the Grand Orient of Naples in 1864 arranged with the Rite of Memphis of ninety-six Degrees that these two organizations should work other than the three symbolic Degrees which were to be conferred by a Grand Orient. On May 8, 1876, a reorganization resulted in three separate Grand Masonic Bodies, the National Grand Lodge of Egypt, the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite, and the Sovereign Grand Council of the Memphis Rite. The National Grand Lodge in 1879 was proclaimed "free, sovereign and independent" of the other Bodies.

There is now a Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite instituted in 1907. Some Brethren withdrew from the National Grand Lodge in September of 1922 to form another Grand Lodge of Egypt.

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